Borno state governor Babagana Zulum says there is no reason for Nigerians to reject surrendering Boko Haram terrorists who have killed over 350,000 and displaced close to three million persons, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
“Unless we want to continue with an endless war, I see no reason why we should reject those who are willing to surrender,” Mr Zulum told journalists on Tuesday after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Villa, Abuja.
“More than 100,000 people were killed and therefore, I am in total support of this ongoing surrender by the insurgents. We will support them and those that have surrendered shall be dealt with according to the extant rules and regulations,” he added.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in June reported that Boko Haram terrorists have killed about 350,000 people in the North-East – 90 per cent of those killed are children – since they took up arms against the Nigerian state in 2009.
Mr Zulum’s advocacy in support of surrendering terrorists comes few months after he criticised the Buhari regime’s rehabilitation and deradicalisation programme for terrorists.
The governor had in March criticised the programme as a failure, stating that some of the claimed rehabilitated terrorists surrendered just to spy on Nigeria’s security architecture, with intention of rejoining their fellow terrorists in the bush to renew attacks on the country.
“It has been confirmed that the concept of deradicalisation or Safe Corridor is not working as expected. Quite often, those who have passed through the Safe Corridor initiative, or have been deradicalised, usually go back and rejoin the terror group after carefully studying the various security arrangements in their host communities, during the reintegration process,” Mr Zulum had said then.
Mr Buhari’s regime has continued to release Boko Haram terrorists into communities in the North East, despite their nefarious activities in the past twelve years that has left over 350,000 dead and close to 3 million Nigerians displaced.